Friday, December 01, 2006

i n t e r a c t i v i t y


As a college student, an equestrian, and a female, I know all about competition. Essentially the world is just in a state of heightened competition that will only keep growing. Colleges are harder to get into (and more expensive, cough cough), ribbons are harder to win, good men are harder to catch, and media is harder to differentiate. But we all stand up to the plate when it comes time to bat. Media has twisted and turned into guerilla, viral, and attention-demanding marketing. The central link that holds together these new faces of media is i n t e r a c t i v i t y.

There's so many ways media is exploring interactivity and agencies are only getting more and more creative with the expanded competition. The level of involvement the ketchup packets obtain from users is through asking the audience to take an action. It's not just something to look at, watch or ignore. It's a small but potent experience. And the Pilot watch uses a different technique. They don’t demand anything from the customer. Rather, they take an action the consumer will most likely be doing anyway, and expand on it. By taking this small but habited action, you are immediately in the ad without having to step outside your normal, everyday activities.

Netflix used a different and more conventional tactic in getting their audience involved. It was the good, old prize incentive. While this method is by no means new or original, it's definitely a classic way to get the audience completely involved with the brand. Hastings, Neflix chairman and CEO, told the New York Times, “The beauty of the Netflix prize is you can be a mathematician in Romania or a statistician in Taiwan, and you could be the winner." When Saatchi & Saatchi used life-size cut outs of men urinating all over New York City, it's effectiveness gained ground in the competitive battle for consumers’ attention. If the consumer wanted to know what this figure was all about, they had to physically walk up to the "guy" and read his shirt. This doesn’t demand anything of the consumer, but rather simply draws them in with the need-to-know factor. If they want to be "in the know" they have to take the steps toward the cut out.

Similar to the peeing cut out campaign, the sidewalk lined with crosses asks the public to read to find out. However, the crosses are below eye lever and I feel this makes them less demanding of the passerby. Of course, it ultimately depends on the lifestyle of the consumer and state they're in at the moment their passing by, which is an unavoidable factor in consumer behavior. There is a very thin line between demanding too much and not demanding enough. The best way to avoid this line is the customization option. Allowing customers to personalize their product or even player (as seen in the Northwest Airline advergame) can only lead to positive associations. Who doesn't want to give their plane a 1970s afro? Customization is one of the best ways to cut through the competition and land on top.

Customization comes in all shapes and sizes as we see with the Durex Dickorations. While they might be a bit personal and invasive to some, the generation that's pulling through the new millennium is much more comfortable with sexuality. And lets be honest, these Dickorations and Durex condoms in general are not aimed at senior citizens. Lastly, I can't discuss interactivity without talking about viral videos. I have to admit, I'm not a huge watcher yet but after this assignment, I've been to www.youtube.com almost daily. It's an amazing technique to use especially since our generation is such heavy television users. We adore media that accesses more than just one of the senses.

In conclusion, as the world grows into an elevated state of competition, interactive media is one of the best ways to open doors between media and customers. It effects our level of awareness, the media used by agencies, and, most importantly, our perception of products, companies, and ideas. Our generation is jam-packed with experiencers (from VALS). Interactive and viral marketing ask the consumer to come into the ad and make it more than just an ad, make it an experience. To flip the scales, blogs are a picture perfect example of the new wave of interactivity. Our wonderful world wide web has become a community of communicators and what we used to simply read has now become an experience to take part in.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's a Viral Cycle


Viral videos are an amazing way to spark buzz among the public and target audiences. They're very easy to point in the right direction and ensure the right audience sees them. At the Learning Center, you'll learn important viral video tactics such as filming yourself sitting at a desk, the art of falling, hurting animals, using animals to hurt people, working with excrement and vomit and "many more." But this is no normal viral video. This hilarious DRTV spoof takes whacks at both the DRTV genre and viral video itself.

But what is the point of this viral video? Simply to poke fun at viral video? No. This viral video is actually promoting a website that is….yes….all about viral video! Quite the ironic situation. The site is called Ziddio and is one of those "we pay you for your video" sites.

Frankly, as humorous as it is to have a viral video that's promoting viral videos by making fun of viral videos, I think if I was actually enjoying the slander that I would be severely annoyed once I found out the true cause of the movie. But that might just be me.


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  • Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    I See Dead People


    Australia's Watch Around Water is placing images of a little drowned boy at the bottom of swimming pools to improve pool safety. I have to say, one of these posters would definitely catch my eye. Of course eventually people are going to catch onto this whole fake-dead-people-as-props thing and it's going to lose shock value. Then what will happen? People will start walking around and if they come around a dead boy in a pool they'll just shrug.

    Essentially this ad campaign is playing the game of the agency-who-cried-wolf. But seriously, it's a very effective idea. It's eye-catching and gets the audience emotionally involved immediately. Not only is the effect immediate, but also it reaches everybody. No one can ignore the image of a dead boy in a pool. It's simply human nature: I know I shouldn’t look but I can't help it.

    There's a fear factor involved in this campaign and I'm not sure it's of appropriate measure. I feel it might create a negative association with the firm even though it might work in terms of increasing drowning awareness.


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  • Monday, November 27, 2006

    Dickorations


    Durex has created a new fashion and it's found in cities dominated by college students. But you can't find it in department stores, shops, or boutiques. In order to find this sexy little fad you have to go to men's restrooms, Maxim, FHM, and the Durex website where you can print out costumes ranging from tuxedos to superhero capes. And there's nothing subtle about these ads, even the text is forthcoming: "Click here to download this dickoration."

    While I highly doubt that many college guys (sober college guys) will actually cut out these paper outfits and use them, the ads do seem to perfectly match their target. The immaturity of the typical college guy parallels the immaturity of dressing up his lower member. I cant say I know a single person who wouldn't find this campaign amusing to say the least.

    All in all, a well done and extremely creative campaign designed to create buzz. I like the way Durex plays on the idea of wrapping your tool and makes it something fun and colorful. Durex is now addressing and dressing two heads instead of one...


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  • Saturday, November 18, 2006

    Kleenex; Thinking Outside the Box


    Kleenex has come out with a new Oval promo for their new oval-shaped tissue dispensers. This new packaging is targeted at hipsters who obvioulsy enjoy clean noses. For as long as Ford has made cars, Kleenex has used the ho-hum quadrilateral box. Cheers to Kleenex for changing it up for once! The campaign they're using to promote these new boxes is actually quite clever actually.

    Ads use other objects like a lime or a rug that have colors directly reflected in the colors that appear on the corresponding boxes. For instance, the lime used in one ad represents "tangy oval", a box strewn with light greens and yellows. As shown above the "bling oval" is decorated in shades of pink and white to reflect the gem above.

    The true reason this campaign caught my eye is because upon arriving at home on Thursday, I noticed different looking tissue boxes. And sure enough! The same boxes placed around my house are the new Kleenex Ovals. What a small world! While I feel the idea of an oval box is cute but nothing to brag about, I really find the ad campaign pretty decent. Not inspiring, but clever in "we're not trying to be super clever" kind of way.


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  • Friday, November 17, 2006

    More OJ Please?


    Remember when O.J. was just a drink? Those were the good old days. On November 27th and 29th, Fox is going to air the OJ-sponsored special called OJ Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How it Happened. When you're driving on the highway and suddenly traffic builds up due to an accident up ahead...the worse the accident is, the slower you drive by it. The same phenomena is going to happen when this tv special airs because it has a certain "I shouldnt look but I have to" appeal.

    This two hour segment will allow OJ Simpson to reveal to Judith Regan and the public how he would have killed Nicole and Ron IF he actually did commit the crime. Of course, we dont realllly believe he did, not a famous football player like himself. Mike Darnell, Fox's executive Vice President of alternative programming, says "This is the definitive last chapter in the Trial of the Century."

    Frankly this hypothetical admittance while admitting that he's not actually admitting to anything is just slightly disgusting. When I saw this article I was in disbelief that something like this would actually be allowed to happen. It's an interesting way for OJ to position himself to the public. I really can't imagine that this doing any good whatsoever. I'd be surprised if it doesn't hurt his reputation even further. I'm very interested to watch the special and report on the reactions it gets from the public.


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  • Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Love; Passion or Politics?


    Online dating has become the new fad, I should know. My mom, my dad, my sister, and pretty much every single adult I know has resorted to it. My mom, after two plus years, is still with one of her first dates and, as it happens, they just bought a house together. However, my dad has been through three girlfriends in one year and my sister just went on a date with a guy who's idea of affection is to lick her neck seven times in one hour at a bar (on their first date!). So it's fair to say the results are mixed, but nonetheless, everyone is doing it.

    You can find your "perfect match" through niche sites specifically organized by location, religion, and now, political views! Yes - that's right, two new dating sites have sprung up: Democratic Match and Conservitive Match. Many hearts have been broken over conflicting political views, it's true. These parties are embedded in our interests, beliefs, motives, opinions, and lifestyles so of course they're going to play a major role in a relationship. Letting politics play a certain part in love is acceptable, even expected, but how far is too far?

    When you go to a site to find a potential partner and this site blocks out everyone except democrats, one has to wonder, are you blocking out your partner as well? Not necessarily because they're not a democrat, but simply because they may not identify themselves as such in the dating scene. As much as this isnt exactly an example of guerilla marketing, this marketing ploy is coming from the public. As with marketers, sometimes we target too specifically, thus blocking out potential buyers. Ultimately this dating arrangement, as well as most societal constructs, is being far too exclusive.

    Part of love is acceptance; loving the flaws in a person simply because they're part of them. I mean, really, what happened to Prince Charming? Mr. Right? That can't eat, can't sleep, reach for the stars over the fence, World Series kind of stuff? Is this isolated way of marketing ourselves targeting our dating pool too much? Are we messing with what's "meant to be"?


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